Some parents say they have waited up to a year for youngsters to get diagnosed with the hyperactive disorder, as mental healh services suffer more cuts
Families in parts of Greater Manchester say they are waiting far too long in getting help for hyperactive children.
It comes after the M.E.N. revealed was being investigated for allegedly treating children with (ADHD) against NHS guidelines.
The suspension of Dr Wayne Davis, who runs the Leicester Road Medical Centre in, triggered a huge wave of protest letters from loyal patients, including one who said: “He was trying to fill some gaps because he can’t get the kids seen.”
Families in other parts of the Greater Manchester have now spoken of delays in getting children they suspect of having the condition diagnosed and treated by children’s .
One family in Tameside say their son is yet to be diagnosed after waiting more than a year.
The woman said: “These kids are suffering. They are out of control. A GP cannot mediate, but we can’t get into Child and Adolescent either. It’s very difficult. They are not getting any help, but all we can do is wait.”
The M.E.N. told this week – National Children’s Mental Health Week – how Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the region have seen cuts of £1m over the last five years.
Dr Tony Lloyd, chief executive of the ADHD Foundation, a charity that works to improve understanding and of the condition, said: “CAMHS and 嘉盛 community paediatric services are under tremendous pressure as they are not adequately funded to meet the growing demand for children’s mental health services.
“GPs are also under pressure as they are the first port of call for distressed families who can be waiting up to four years for a diagnosis of ADHD in some parts of the country.
“NHS guidelines do state clearly that only a suitably qualified specialist such as a paediatrician or child psychiatrist can make a diagnosis and prescribe medication for ADHD.
“These medications can cause unpleasant side effects and are not suitable for every child with ADHD.
“It is essential that medication should only be offered in conjunction with and health skills training.”
Dr Peter Hindley, chairman of the Child and Adolescent Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said it would be inappropriate for the college to comment on individual cases.
But he added: “The guidance on the management of ADHD is clear that initial of treatment should only occur following an assessment by an appropriate specialist, such as a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, or a consultant community paediatrician with appropriate training.”
He said GPs can play an in the long-term management of children with ADHD.
Dr Davis told the M.E.N. he has been treating ADHD patients for almost 20 years and has achieved ‘remarkable results and very positive outcomes’ after undertaking ‘extensive research’ on behalf of parents who felt ‘let down’ by other health agencies.
NHS England said it was investigating ‘unusual’ prescribing patterns at his practice.
Maria Slater from Central Manchester University Hospitals Trust, which runs the CAMHS service in Manchester and Salford, said: “The number of cases in which we make a diagnosis of ADHD has undoubtedly increased over several years and now makes up a significant proportion of cases referred to CAMHS.
“However, we strive to see children within 11 weeks of referral and are 95 per cent compliant with this figure. Our access target is above the national waiting times for CAMHS, which in some places can be in excess of six to 12 months.”
Dr Hilary Lloyd, from the trust, who is clinical director of CAMHS, said: “If medication is prescribed for children, we have a duty to keep them under specialist review, so the numbers of open cases are increasing.
“We are hoping that there may be some greater involvement of GPs and community paediatricians in future monitoring.
“Information from the child’s school is important aspect of the assessment, and we try to obtain this prior to the first appointment where possible.
“Many children have problems in addition to ADHD which can mean that assessment and intervention is complex.”
Dr Anna Kushlick, CAMHS clinical director at Pennine Care, which provides CAMHS services across Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford, said: “Diagnosing ADHD needs a careful assessment as many of the characteristics could also be due to other forms of challenging behaviour.
“If a parent suspects their child may have ADHD, I would advise them to firstly speak to a professional who knows their child the best, to see what their view is, such as the health visitor, school nurse, their teacher or the school’s special educational needs coordinator.
“They can develop a pastoral support plan with school, as well as signposting to other behaviour support guidance and parenting support classes that might help.
“If these don’t make any improvements to a child’s behaviour over a reasonable period of time, then the next step would be for an informed referral to CAMHS for a more detailed assessment.
“ADHD is a long-term condition which varies in its severity. Once diagnosed we can work with parents and other professionals to develop a care plan to help manage the symptoms.
“We are keen this includes education and self- help strategies for young people, parents and carers,” she said.